Articulating a Strong Written Argument
Purdue University Global
Marina Perez
June 7, 2021

Increasing the Magic for Guests with Disabilities
Broadening the Magic for Guests with Disabilities LEGOLAND parks are famed for presenting memorable experiences to households of all demographics. Regardless of race, gender, culture, and different covered instructions, families can go to a LEGOLAND park and experience exhilarating points of interest, breathtaking LEGO models, and a typical exquisite day. However, even as LEGOLAND parks consciousness on presenting the first-rate possible enjoy to all visitors, visitors with disabilities are sometimes left out of this notion process. Aspiring to provide an identical, safe, and seamless enjoyment for all visitors, LEGOLAND leadership should locate affordable inns and alternative reviews for guests of varying abilities. To grow the enjoyment of guests with disabilities, LEGOLAND leadership should rejuvenate their journey accessibility software and lease a third-birthday party consultant to review the accessibility of the park. By doing this, LEGOLAND parks turn into an industry chief in available enjoyment, see an increase in earnings, and enhance their ordinary key performance signs.
The theme park industry is competitive and fierce; all parks try to be the first to launch todays and most extraordinary rides, technology, and reports. However, even the most critical names in the industry have a tested lackluster music document regarding servicing guests with disabilities. Detailed in the Tragic Kingdom (McCoy, 2013), guests with disabilities and foundations supporting identical get admission to humans of varying capabilities portray their troubling reviews while traveling Walt Disney World Resort. It will become evident that Walt Disney World Resort, which preaches its “type of helpful offerings and gets admission to alternatives” (Walt Disney World Resort, 2021, p.1), falls brief in its promise. Attempting to control their enchantment queues better, Walt Disney World attempted to streamline their accessibility application, ensuing in catastrophic consequences at the experience of visitors with disabilities. Instead of allowing spot entry to those visitors, the park decided a reservation system became extra seamless—not for guests with disabilities, but the operators and different paying visitors. Guests using the accessibility application have now been required to attend extended times for attractions, which “would not work for all, together with people with cognitive disabilities” (McCoy, 2013, p. 7). Walt Disney World Resort noticed an abundance of proceedings and demands to rethink this new application; however, exclusivity reigned perfectly. Not simplest did several court cases rise—causing monetary strain on the corporation—but visitors with disabilities decided to spend their money elsewhere. A visitor even asserted, “We may not be renewing or touring again until its adjustments” (McCoy, 2013, p. 5).

This is a stark warning to LEGOLAND leadership that failure to properly accommodate guests with disabilities is not only morally wrong but can impact the company’s financial wealth. One way to determine a best-in-class accessibility program is to conduct an international review of competitors’ accessibility programs, taking bits and pieces from each. By doing this, LEGOLAND parks will become more accommodating and persuade an innumerable number of new guests to visit. The increase in revenue—due to the change in policy—can be reinvested into improving additional accessibility options, in addition to overall park expansion. Several awards and accolades are given each year to theme parks around the world. From choosing the best attractions to the cleanest park, these awards are looked at by industry experts, executives, and most importantly guests as an indicator of a park’s experience. The suggestion of LEGOLAND parks to hire a third-party consultant is proven to reap benefits beyond awards, as evidenced in EVERYONE CAN PLAY: An Architecture Firm’s Work Designing a Unique and Accessible Theme Park and Water Park in Texas Earned it this Year’s PVA Barrier-Free America Award (Van Loo, 2018). Morgan’s Wonderland, a small theme park in Texas, hired an architecture firm to specifically look at the park experience from the eyes of a guest with disabilities. The results were spectacular, drawing praise from guests and industry leaders alike. Their efforts were even recognized with the coveted Paralyzed Veterans of America Barrier-Free America Award; an award that major themed entertainment companies like Disney Parks & Resorts, Universal Parks & Resorts, and LEGOLAND Parks & Resorts have failed to obtain. The architecture firm looked at the entire park experience and noticed that oftentimes guests with disabilities were segregated from a normal experience. One of the most impactful updates that came out of this was where they, “reimagined a ride’s entrance to allow any type of rider to board at one entrance” (Van Loo, 2018, p. 27).
This small action allowed guests of varying abilities to gain a sense of normalcy during their visit, something they crave in their day-to-day lives. Morgan’s Wonderland’s unprecedented decision to use a third-party firm increased visitation, improved reviews online, and gained publicity worldwide. But one underemphasized fact remains: the true emotional impact on families who visit with disabilities. Morgan’s Wonderland received their accolades due to, “its thoughtful design and the residual, emotional impact that design has on the people who visit the park” (Van Loo, 2018, p. 28). While the other metrics are calculable, the sheer effect accessibility has on guests with disabilities is invaluable. LEGOLAND parks must look to mirror the success of Morgan’s Wonderland and hire a third-party consultant to review the accessibility of the park. All attractions and experiences must be scrutinized, and fixes must determine fixes to move towards a more inclusive park. The accolades will follow, but the true effect will be on those who visit and experience something they have never experienced before in a theme park: a genuinely seamless and inclusive visit.
Theme parks, while a unique industry, falls under the hospitality sector. At its core, hospitality is about serving people and ensuring visits to establishments are safe and enjoyable. For an industry that is so focused on providing exceptional experiences for all, this study resource falls short. It is easy to rationalize leaving things as they relate efforts to other businesses in the same sector; however, accessibility is a clear detractor in a close cousin to theme parks: restaurants. According to Irene Li, her experiences at restaurants signify a major shift in thinking that needs to occur. Irene, whose father was left disabled due to a stroke, details her disgust at restaurants in Accessibility is Hospitality: Why the Restaurant Industry Needs to Catch Up (Li, 2019). What can be drawn from this is the stark comparison of accessibility issues in restaurants to the same accessibility issues that reside in theme parks, including, “narrow pathways through packed dining rooms, lack of low-top tables, and bathrooms labeled as accessible that clearly cannot accommodate a wheelchair” (Li, 2019, p. 3). LEGOLAND parks should set the industry standard for accessibility, paving the way for the entire hospitality industry, and increasing positive publicity. The benefit of hiring a third-party consultant is these issues would be highlighted, allowing for LEGOLAND leadership teams to resolve these problems quickly and without guest complaints. Without the consultant, it is very likely that underlying issues— that may be glaring to guests with disabilities—will be missed. Li (2019) captures this perfectly, saying, “I’ve come to realize that dining without anxiety about accessibility is a privilege that many of us aren’t even aware of” (p. 4). While not intentional, it is difficult to see accessibility issues with an untrained eye; therefore, it’s imperative to hire an expert in their field who can identify areas of opportunity. One main concern that arises in providing “special” privileges to guests with disabilities is the human nature to exploit programs for their gain. Sadly, it is common for theme park visitors to try and manipulate the system to bypass queues or obtain special experiences not meant for them. For example, a 2013 scandal where wealthy Manhattan families would hire “disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the of attraction queues (Palmeri, 2013, p. 1). This is reprehensible but emphasizes a real problem that could deter theme parks from opening accommodations to guests. Abuse of these resources causes issues for guests with disabilities and affects the experience of guests without disabilities. When too many guests use a ride accessibility program, standard queue times skyrocket, resulting in overall displeasure with the visit. Additionally, a significant increase in users of the accessibility program causes guests with disabilities to wait substantially longer, truly affecting the guests who need this resource the most. While it may seem daunting for LEGOLAND parks to offer a significant ride accessibility program that may affect guests’ abundance, training can be provided that eliminates abuse. Instead of issuing the ride accessibility program to any guest who asks, they can ask certain questions to determine eligibility. While it is illegal to ask a guest, “What is your disability?” theme park employees can ask, “How will your experience be impeded by standing in long lines?” By asking this one simple question, guests can avoid discussing the specifics of their disability and instead discuss the accommodations they will need to enjoy their day. Having this conversation will allow employees to eliminate families attempting to abuse the system while having transparent discussions about accommodations with those who need assistance. Many times, third-party consultants will offer training and continued education to employees, which LEGOLAND leadership would be wise to invest in. LEGOLAND park will instill a culture of inclusivity and respect for guests of all varying abilities by procuring these training services.

Accessibility is a difficult and sensitive topic for many. LEGOLAND parks work tirelessly to accommodate guests with disabilities but still have a long way to go. I cannot understand the benefits of a revamped accessibility program and the onboarding of a third-party consultant. Accolades, increased revenue, enhanced visitation, and industry standard-setting are just some of the vast rewards that LEGOLAND parks will receive should they implement the suggested changes. While it is undoubtedly going to take some time and difficult adjustments, it is the right moral and business decision. We should not forget guests with disabilities, and by implementing these two changes, LEGOLAND parks will set themselves apart for years to come. Li, I. (2019, June 27). Accessibility is Hospitality: Why the Restaurant Industry Needs to Catch Up. WBUR. McCoy, T. H. (2013). Tragic Kingdom. Newsweek Global, 161(42), 1–5. Palmeri, T. (2013). Rich Manhattan Moms Hire Handicapped Tour Guides so Kids can Cut Lines at Disney World. New York Post. Van Loo, L. (2018). EVERYONE CAN PLAY: An Architecture Firm’s Work Designing a Unique and Accessible Theme Park and Water Park in Texas Earned it this Year’s PVA BarrierFree America Award. PN, 72(8), 26–33. Walt Disney World Resort. (2021). Services for Guests with Disabilities. Walt Disney World.

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